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Discover Lakewood CO: Your Ultimate Guide to Dining, Shopping, and Recreation

February 12, 2024

Looking for insights on Lakewood, CO? With a spectrum of neighborhoods like energetic Belmar and serene Green Mountain, along with diverse dining and cultural offerings, this article serves as your go-to resource. Ideal for future residents, tourists, and the locally curious, it unpacks the essentials of life in Lakewood, without the fluff.

Key Takeaways

  • Lakewood CO boasts a diverse range of neighborhoods from the dynamic downtown Belmar to the nature-rich Green Mountain, offering a mix of shopping, housing, cultural, and outdoor recreational options that highlight the city’s unique blend of urban and natural environments.
  • The city’s dining scene reflects its diversity with restaurants serving international cuisines and local breweries and wineries offering a selection of unique beverages, while prioritizing the use of fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.
  • Lakewood’s commitment to arts, culture, and education is evident in its numerous cultural centers, museums, historical sites, public and private schools, as well as colleges and universities, providing enriching experiences and learning opportunities.

Exploring Lakewood’s Vibrant Neighborhoods

At the heart of Lakewood’s allure are its dynamic neighborhoods, each offering a unique lifestyle and community spirit. From the lively streets of downtown Belmar to the serene landscapes of Green Mountain, Lakewood’s neighborhoods are as diverse as they are vibrant. Each neighborhood tells a different story, reflecting the rich tapestry of life that makes Lakewood such a desirable place to live, work, and play in a new community.

Belmar, Lakewood’s bustling downtown district, has evolved from the former Villa Italia Shopping Center into a vibrant hub for shopping, dining, and entertainment. On the other end of the spectrum, Green Mountain offers an outdoor enthusiast’s haven within the city, marked by its abundant recreational options, diverse housing, and focus on community. These neighborhoods represent the multifaceted charm of Lakewood, a city that seamlessly blends urban vibrancy with the tranquility of nature.

Belmar: The Heart of Lakewood

Belmar, Lakewood’s town center, presents a pedestrian-friendly environment characterized by a mix of shopping centers, street lights, and featuring:

  • retail
  • residential
  • cultural
  • public spaces

Here, shopping, dining, and soaking in the lively atmosphere are daily activities. You can catch a movie, indulge in retail therapy, or explore new restaurants. Undeniably, Belmar always has something engaging to offer.

The transformation of Belmar from the Villa Italia Shopping Center into a bustling downtown area is a testament to Lakewood’s commitment to fostering vibrant community spaces. Today, Belmar is more than just a shopping district – it’s a place where residents and visitors can experience the energy and spirit of downtown Lakewood firsthand. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, Belmar invites you to embrace the heart of Lakewood and experience the city’s vibrant lifestyle.

Green Mountain: Outdoor Enthusiast’s Paradise

Green Mountain is an oasis for outdoor enthusiasts nestled within the city. Renowned for its harmonious blend with nature, it provides residents with immediate access to various outdoor activities. Here, you can:

  • Begin your mornings with a jog through the park
  • Spend your afternoons hiking mountain trails
  • Conclude your evenings with a sunset view from your backyard.

Housing in Green Mountain caters to a range of preferences and budgets, featuring:

  • Older homes near the city
  • Larger, more recent constructions closer to the mountains
  • Many homes even benefit from picturesque mountain vistas, enhancing the residential experience and fostering a connection to the scenic Colorado landscape

With its variety of recreational opportunities and its range of housing options set against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, Green Mountain is an ideal locale for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts in the Colorado mountains.

Savoring the Flavors of Lakewood

Lakewood’s dining scene mirrors the diversity of its neighborhoods, with top-rated restaurants serving global cuisines and local breweries crafting distinctive beers. A gourmet meal, a casual bite, or a refreshing pint – whatever your craving, co Lakewood has a wide range of options to satisfy every palate.

The city’s dining establishments prioritize the use of fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, resulting in dishes that are as flavorful as they are sustainable. With an extensive selection of dining options, Lakewood invites you to savor the flavors of the world without leaving the city limits.

Top Restaurants

Lakewood boasts a dynamic array of restaurants offering international cuisines, allowing diners to sample flavors from across the globe without leaving the city. From authentic Italian pasta to spicy Thai curries, the city’s top-rated restaurants offer a culinary journey that caters to an array of tastes and dietary needs.

These premier dining locations stand out for their culinary creativity, with chefs experimenting with traditional recipes and modern techniques to create dishes that are both innovative and comforting. The focus on fresh, locally-sourced ingredients ensures that every dish is as vibrant and flavorful as the city itself.

Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or a casual diner, Lakewood’s top restaurants invite you to indulge in a dining experience that’s as diverse and vibrant as the city itself.

Local Breweries and Wineries

Lakewood’s drink scene is as vibrant and diverse as its dining scene, offering a selection of local breweries and wineries that craft their own unique beverages. Whether you’re a craft beer enthusiast or a wine aficionado, you’ll find a variety of handcrafted beers and locally-produced wines to suit your taste.

The city’s breweries offer a wide variety of handcrafted beers, from hoppy IPAs to smooth stouts, each one brewed with care and passion. Notable family-friendly wineries in the area, including The Wine Barrel, Wine Dispensary, and Deep Roots Winery & Bistro Rino, accommodate visitors of all ages, making them the perfect place for a family outing or a casual get-together with friends. Whether you’re looking to unwind after a long day or celebrate a special occasion, Lakewood’s breweries and wineries offer the perfect setting to relax and enjoy a drink.

Adventure Awaits: Outdoor Activities in Lakewood

Lakewood Colorado is a treasure trove of outdoor adventures, catering to a spectrum of interests and abilities. With everything from easy trails for novices to rigorous terrains for seasoned adventurers, the city offers varied outdoor activities to keep you active and engaged. Be it a relaxed walk in the park or an adrenaline-fueled mountain trail hike, Lakewood is the ideal backdrop for your outdoor pursuits.

The city’s parks and open spaces, enjoyed by the city population, offer a variety of activities in the largest city, including:

  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Biking

Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or a novice explorer, the city’s outdoor spaces offer plenty of opportunities to embrace the great outdoors and enjoy the scenic beauty of Lakewood. With an array of outdoor activities at your fingertips, adventure truly awaits in Lakewood.

Parks and Open Spaces

Lakewood, known for its population density, is home to 114 parks and over 7,400 acres of open space, providing residents and visitors with ample opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities. These parks and open spaces offer a variety of activities, from gentle strolls along well-maintained trails to adrenaline-pumping adventures on challenging terrains. As part of its commitment to preserving the natural environment, Lakewood maintains these parks and open spaces for the community to enjoy.

Prominent parks such as Bear Creek Lake Park, William F. Hayden Park on Green Mountain, and Smith Reservoir offer a range of recreational options that cater to outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels. From camping and fishing to hiking and biking, these parks offer a variety of activities that promise to keep you active and engaged.

Whether you’re looking for a quiet picnic spot or a challenging hiking trail, Lakewood’s parks and open spaces offer something for everyone.

Hiking and Biking Trails

Lakewood boasts an array of hiking and biking trails that cater to different skill levels and offer exceptional views. From easy loops for beginners to moderately challenging trails for the more experienced, these trails provide an excellent opportunity to explore the city’s natural beauty and enjoy a dose of fresh air.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Denver offers a variety of options for hiking and cycling near downtown Denver:

  • Kendrick Reservoir Loop: An easy path perfect for beginners, offering a leisurely stroll.
  • Green Mountain, Summit Loop, and North Access Trail Loop: Challenging hikes with stunning vistas of the Denver skyline.
  • City’s bikeway system: Boasts multi-use trails, designated bike lanes, and soft surface trails in parks.

Whether you’re a hiking enthusiast or a biking aficionado, Lakewood’s trails promise a memorable outdoor adventure.

Water Recreation

If you’re a water enthusiast, you’ll love what Lakewood has to offer. Bear Creek Lake Park and Soda Lake provide plenty of opportunities for water-based activities, from water skiing and paddleboarding to sunbathing. These lakes offer the perfect setting to cool off on a hot summer day, enjoy a leisurely paddle, or simply relax by the water’s edge.

Bear Creek Lake Park features:

  • A swim beach that offers daily access from Memorial Day to Labor Day, complete with a concession stand, picnic sites, and a lap swimming lane
  • Rental opportunities for watercraft
  • SUP classes

On the other hand, Rocky Mountain Ski and Wake at Little Soda Lake provides water skiing and other water sports from mid-May to early October. Whether you’re looking to make a splash or simply enjoy the serene beauty of the lake, Lakewood’s waters offer a refreshing escape from the daily grind.

Arts and Culture in Lakewood

Lakewood’s vibrant arts and culture scene is a testament to the city’s creative spirit. At the heart of this scene is the Lakewood Cultural Center, a hub for the arts that offers a variety of cultural offerings, from theater productions and art exhibitions to educational workshops. These programs and events not only showcase Lakewood’s local talent but also foster a sense of community through arts and education.

In addition to the Lakewood Cultural Center, the city is home to various museums and historical sites that offer a glimpse into Lakewood’s rich history and cultural heritage. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or a history buff, Lakewood’s arts and culture scene promises to captivate and inspire.

Lakewood Cultural Center

The Lakewood Cultural Center is a beacon of the city’s arts and culture scene, featuring a theater for live performances and spaces for art exhibitions and community educational programs. From riveting theater plays and mesmerizing dance recitals to soulful music concerts, the Lakewood Cultural Center presents a diverse array of performances that cater to a variety of tastes and interests.

Tickets for performances at the Lakewood Cultural Center can be purchased online, by phone, or in person through the Box Office. For those unable to attend in person, the center also provides live stream options, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to experience the rich cultural offerings of Lakewood.

Whether you’re a culture vulture or simply looking for a unique entertainment experience, the Lakewood Cultural Center promises to deliver.

Museums and Historical Sites

Stepping into Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park is like stepping back in time. This 20th-century history park and museum commemorates the community of Lakewood, featuring:

  • 15 historic buildings
  • Over 40,000 artifacts
  • Rotating and permanent exhibits
  • An outdoor amphitheater
  • A festival area

The park offers a fascinating glimpse into Lakewood’s past, providing a tangible connection to the city’s history and heritage. The Visitor Center and Museum Store are open from Tuesday through Saturday, while the grounds are accessible to the public every day.

Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about Lakewood’s past, a visit to Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park is sure to enrich your understanding of this vibrant city.

Education and Schools in Lakewood

Lakewood’s commitment to education is evident in its wide array of educational institutions. From public and private schools to colleges and universities, Lakewood offers a range of educational options that cater to different needs and aspirations. Whether you’re planning for your child’s education or looking to further your own, Lakewood’s educational institutions include:

  • Public schools
  • Private schools
  • Colleges
  • Universities

These institutions promise to provide a supportive and enriching learning environment.

The city, located in eastern Jefferson County, is served by Jefferson County Public Schools, the largest school district in Colorado by enrollment, which includes acclaimed schools such as Devinny Elementary and Green Mountain High School. In addition to public schools, the city also offers a variety of private education options, from faith-based schools to institutions that emphasize alternative educational philosophies. Whether you’re seeking a traditional education or an alternative approach, Lakewood’s diverse range of schools promises to cater to your unique needs and objectives.

Public and Private Schools

Education in Lakewood spans a diverse spectrum, from public and charter schools to private institutions, catering to students from elementary through to high school levels. The public school system in Lakewood, primarily served by the Jefferson County Public School District, offers a variety of specialized programs like gifted and talented programs and International Baccalaureate options, providing students with a comprehensive and well-rounded education.

Private education in Lakewood also offers a variety of options, from faith-based schools to Montessori frameworks, and institutions that emphasize alternative educational philosophies. These schools provide a supportive learning environment that nurtures students’ individual talents and interests, encouraging them to reach their full potential. Whether your child is academically inclined, artistically gifted, or sports-oriented, Lakewood’s diverse range of public and private schools offers a wealth of opportunities for them to thrive.

Colleges and Universities

For higher education, Lakewood is home to Red Rocks Community College, which offers an array of associate degree programs catering to both part-time and full-time students. Whether you’re a recent high school graduate, a working professional looking to upskill, or a lifelong learner seeking to pursue your interests, Red Rocks Community College provides a supportive and enriching educational environment that caters to a wide range of academic goals.

Just a short distance from Lakewood, the University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus is a significant public university that grants bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in various fields. Whether you’re aiming for a career in healthcare, business, arts, or sciences, the University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus offers a wealth of opportunities for higher learning and professional development.

Getting Around: Transportation Options in Lakewood

Efficient public transit and well-planned infrastructure make navigating Lakewood effortless. With the RTD W Line connecting Denver and Lakewood and an extensive bikeway network at your disposal, moving around the city is as simple as boarding a train or riding a bike.

Transit-oriented developments, including walkable communities around W Line stations, have made it even easier for residents to access essential services and amenities. Whether you’re commuting to work, heading to school, or exploring the city’s attractions, Lakewood’s transportation options ensure that your journey is smooth and hassle-free.

Public Transit

Lakewood’s public transit services, provided by the Regional Transportation District (RTD), offer a reliable and efficient way to navigate the city and beyond. The Light Rail W Line connects Lakewood with the greater Denver metropolitan area, offering residents and visitors easy access to the city’s attractions, businesses, and services.

For those looking to travel further afield, Bustang’s West Line provides regional bus service connecting Lakewood with other cities in Colorado, expanding the reach of public transit for residents and visitors alike. Whether you’re commuting to work, heading to school, or exploring the city’s attractions, Lakewood’s public transit services ensure that your journey is smooth and hassle-free.

Biking and Walking

For those who prefer a more active mode of transport, Lakewood’s bike-friendly policies and infrastructure offer an excellent alternative. The city boasts an extensive bikeway system that includes multi-use trails, designated bike lanes, and soft surface trails in parks. Whether you’re commuting to work, heading to school, or simply enjoying a leisurely ride, Lakewood’s biking infrastructure ensures a safe and enjoyable journey.

The city’s commitment to promoting biking and walking is further demonstrated by its Sustainable Neighborhoods Program, which supports community-led projects to improve local transportation infrastructure. Whether you’re an avid cyclist or a casual walker, Lakewood’s biking and walking infrastructure offers a healthy and environmentally-friendly way to get around the city.


From its vibrant neighborhoods and diverse dining scene to its outdoor activities and rich arts and culture scene, Lakewood truly has something for everyone. Whether you’re a resident, a visitor, or considering making Lakewood your home, we hope this guide has given you a glimpse into the city’s unique lifestyle and offerings. As you explore Lakewood, we’re confident you’ll discover a city that’s as vibrant and diverse as its residents, a city that’s waiting to welcome you with open arms.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Lakewood Colorado a good area?

Yes, Lakewood, Colorado is a good area, with a peaceful atmosphere and welcoming community. It’s a great place to live.

Is Lakewood Colorado a suburb of Denver?

Yes, Lakewood, Colorado is a suburb of Denver, and it is part of both the greater Denver metropolitan area and the Front Range Urban Corridor.

Is Lakewood more expensive than Denver?

Yes, Lakewood is more affordable than Denver, despite having a slightly higher cost of living than the national average. You can benefit from Denver’s access and amenities while living in Lakewood.

What are some of the top neighborhoods in Lakewood?

Belmar and Green Mountain are two of the top neighborhoods in Lakewood, offering a bustling downtown area and an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, respectively.

What kind of dining options does Lakewood offer?

Lakewood offers a diverse dining scene with a variety of exceptional restaurants and a growing craft beer scene with local breweries. Consider exploring these options for a satisfying dining experience.

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